Sean Patrick Hopwood is fluent in six languages and passionate about education and cultural awareness. He’s the President and CEO of Day Translations Inc with an MBA in International Business and Entrepreneurship. He has progressively expanded his company into a reputable transnational operation with offices in multiple locations including the U.S., Germany, Dubai and the U.K. In an effort to bring companies closer together, he’s successfully leverages his platform to foster intercultural exchange and translation. He is actively involved in both the international community and his local Tampa Bay community.
Like my grandmother said ‘Worrying is like a rocking chair; it doesn’t get you anywhere. – Sean Patrick Hopwood
Sean has always wanted to have a business. After all he had a master’s degree in business, so starting his own seemed like the natural course. He spoke of the early struggles of starting his own business and the lessons he learned from those struggles in order to get the company where it’s at now. A major theme was about change and how change is needed in order to evolve and grow. You also have to be flexible and willing to change as needed. “You can’t just stick to one thing. You always have to be willing to try to change and to not put your eggs in one basket as well.” With hard work and determination, you can have a business too!
Sean’s One Idea
As most budding entrepreneurs do, Sean had an idea for his business. He worked a variety of jobs but everything he did was mostly about interpreting. It took getting fired from his job in 2007 to kick start his business journey. While on unemployment he went door to door looking for jobs to do interpreting or translation. It was desperate times as unemployment doesn’t cover all your bills. A friend mentioned a church that was looking to have their pamphlets translated from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. It didn’t pay a whole lot but it was his very first client. This parlayed into his current company “Day Translations.”
Day Translations’ main services are “translation, interpreting, subtitles and voiceovers.” They are certified translators for law firms and is insured and licensed to do translations for hospitals. By being insured and licensed, it takes the liability off of the hospitals so due to this; a lot of hospitals partake in their services. They also do subtitles and voiceovers for movies. Sean did not know a lot about website design but he was able to learn enough to create a basic website. Today 12 developers and specialists share the task of keeping the business’ website up to date and fresh. They are currently working on a mobile app that will connect you directly to a translator.
Lessons / Struggles
DOUBT – The business struggled with marketing around the fourth year of existence. They saw a lot of growth in the first three years but then the number of new clients leveled out. They didn’t see the same growth as the first years. They were relying solely on search engines such as Google and Yahoo and not on traditional marketing such as radio and billboards. For about 18 months they worked on revamping their website and explored traditional marketing and they finally saw a turnaround. “Our combination of traditional marketing plus internet marketing has now actually made us stronger than we were from before.”
“I do recommend that if you’re trying to start your own business that you need to learn as much as you can about making your own website so you can at least have the knowledge to hire an expert.”
“When you have an idea, everything seems to stem off from that idea. Once you got a really good idea and you’re really passionate about it, you’ll do anything just to make that idea work.”
Foster, encourage, nurture and build up your idea. Take care of it as you would a growing child.
“I suggest that you have other entrepreneurs in your life where you can bounce ideas off of.”
Without struggles you wouldn’t see what you need to do differently.
5 Moves To Start A New Business
If he were to start another business today, he would concentrate on five areas:
- Have a managerial team – know how to delegate. You cannot do it all yourself.
- Be patient
- Be decisive not emotional, especially with the hiring and firing of employees.
- Take MIS (management information systems) classes – technology is constantly evolving.
- Get involved with networking
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
Secret To Success
“The real secret, and this might sound trite, but you have to work really hard; harder than you think you’re going to have to work. And you have to also be professional in everything you do.”